Loki is the third MCU TV show to launch on Disney+, and it’s easily the most exciting one. I’ve watched and enjoyed both WandaVision and The Falcon and the Winter Soldier. But I can’t remember having been as annoyed for having to wait another week for the next installment in the show. That’s what happens with Loki, however. So much occurs in each Loki episode that you can’t stop watching and you can’t wait to see what happens next. The writing and attention to detail are so outstanding that you’ll find yourself stopping and rewinding to see exactly what was said and what was shown on the screen.
Episode 4 tops everything with the most mind-blowing Loki-Sylvie relationship reveal so far. I’ve already explained the biggest reveal in yesterday’s episode and why it matters so much for the MCU. Now, Marvel has provided additional commentary about that Loki-Sylvie development that everybody is talking about. Marvel also told us why it’s so important. Mind you, massive spoilers follow below.
WandaVision and Falcon never stood a chance to outdo Loki. It’s not just because Loki (Tom Hiddleston) is a massive MCU character that has a huge following. It’s because Loki tells a story that will be incredibly important for what’s about to come in the MCU. The Falcon and the Winter Soldier is a must-see show to understand Sam’s own Captain America journey. But Loki is a must-watch TV show for everything that will follow.
The big Loki-Sylvie relationship
As I explained the other day, Loki episode 4 is the first to deliver a post-credits scene. But that’s not the best part of it. The episode contains a shocking revelation that might be detrimental to what happens next in the MCU. That’s especially true in multiverse stories like Spider-Man: No Way Home and Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness.
We learned that the Time Variance Authority (TVA) is a sham, but that’s something we expected ever since the first episode. The massive organization is incredibly powerful, but no one works there on their own accord. They’re variants who the Time-Keepers kidnapped and repurposed from realities that deviated from the Sacred Timeline.
The Time-Keepers aren’t real either, and we’ve yet to discover who the puppet master is.
All these revelations offer us the premise of the upcoming Multiverse of Madness. The TVA’s collapse would inevitably lead to the multiverse potentially growing out of control.
But the new Loki-Sylvie development trumps all of that. It provides an alternate path to multiverse chaos, one that the TVA’s master might not be able to stop. Loki and Sylvie (Sophia Di Martino) are both Lokis. They come from different realities, but they’re essentially the same. And yet, they fell in love with each other while dealing with that cataclysmic event on Lamentis.
This development gave birth to a timeline branch that’s unlike anything TVA agents have experienced. The branch grew at a rate and angle that would have had a permanent effect. We learned in the previous episodes that if a branch reaches the point of no return (the red lines), it can’t be reset. And the Loki-Sylvie reality almost did that, as seen on the TVA screen above.
But the deep connection between two variants of the same character could have massive effects on the multiverse. That’s the main takeaway from episode 4. And we already have an idea where to expect variants of the same character to interact with each other next.
Why Marvel went with the romance angle
Before episode 4, many fans speculated that Loki falling in love with himself/herself would be a typical Loki move.
Marvel delivered that moment and turned it into a “reality-breaking” romance. Loki writer Michael Waldron, director Kate Herron, and Tom Hiddleston have now explained the big Loki-Sylvie love reveal. It turns out the unexpected relationship between the two Lokis sits at the crux of Waldron’s pitch for the TV show:
That was one of the cruxes of my pitch [for the series], that there was going to be a love story. We went back and forth for a little bit about, like do we really want to have this guy fall in love with another version of himself? Is that too crazy? But in a series that, to me, is ultimately about self-love, self-reflection, and forgiving yourself, it just felt right that that would be Loki’s first real love story.
Waldron further explained how significant the Loki-Sylvie romance is, and how it terrifies the TVA:
For the first time, they both feel that twinge of, ‘Oh, could this be something more? What is this I’m feeling?’ These are two beings of pure chaos that are the same person falling in love with one another. That’s a straight-up and down branch, and exactly the sort of thing that would terrify the TVA.
Hiddleston also explains Loki’s spiritual journey in the TV series. The beloved anti-hero came to face some harsh realities about himself. He also came to realize that he could fall in love with someone like Sylvie for who she is, not for being a Loki variant:
I don’t think Loki’s relationship with himself has been very healthy. Trying to accept those aspects of himself, which he’s been on the run from, was a way of thinking about that in a really interesting way. Also, Sylvie’s not Loki. Sylvie is Sylvie. That’s interesting, too. I’m really excited to see what people make of it.
Herron further addressed the thought process into this unexpected Loki-Sylvie relationship. She revealed that it was while they were looking at the available material during the pandemic that they’ve decided to explore it. They thought the relationship “is really cool” and decided to tweak the script to emphasize it:
Who’s a better match for Loki than himself? The whole show is about identity. It’s about him, and he is on a very different path, and he is on a different journey. He sees things in Sylvie that he is like, ‘Oh, I’ve been there. I know what you feel.’ But she’s like, ‘Well, I don’t feel that way.’ And I think that was the kind of fun thing about it. She is him, but she’s not him. They’ve had such different life experiences. So just from an identity perspective, it was interesting to dig into that.
But, like the fake Time-Keepers, Waldron, Herron, and Hiddleston will not tell us how the Loki-Sylvie love relationship impacts the MCU. It’s too early for that. We’re not even done with Loki. We have two more episodes to go before we see how or even if this Loki-Sylvie love destroys the TVA, taking down the illusion of a stable reality with it.